Realism tattoo artist Elias Ramirez, Jr. honored with first place win at 2022 Colorado Tattoo Convention and Expo

With over 21,000 tattoo shops located across the United States, and 40% of Americans below 35 having some form of ink, tattooing is the sixth fastest growing industry. According to the market research firm IBISWorld, the tattoo industry generates an estimated $1.6 billion in revenue.

Standing out in a crowd of tattoo shops can be hard with so many available.

The artists at Just My Imagination Tattoo LLC Garden City let their work speak for themselves.

The shop, owned by Elias Ramirez Jr., and Monique Ramirez, celebrated the second anniversary of its founding on Oct. 24.

The plaque that Elias Ramirez Jr., owner of Just My Imagination Tattoo Studio LLC., won at the 2022 Colorado Tattoo Convention in Denver hangs on the wall in his shop in Garden City. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)
On the wall of his shop in Garden City, is the plaque that Elias Ramirez Jr. won at the 2022 Colorado Tattoo Convention. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)

Ramirez, Jr. specializes in one of the arts most difficult tattoo styles — realism.

Realism tattoos, also referred to as photorealism, can depict anything — from animals and landscapes to portraits of people and pets— however, it’s the 3D real-life properties that make this style stand out from other tattoo genres.

Trash Polka and Illustrative tattoos give artists freedom to create and explore new styles. Photorealism tattoos follow a specific photo or image closely. Photorealism tattoos can also be done in color, but both depend heavily on shading or detail work.

“I like super realism; a lot of portrait work,” Ramirez, Jr. said. “You can put your whole art into the piece and capture the people’s soul and spirit. It is so rewarding to see people’s reactions when I am done. It’s mainly memorial pieces that I do and it means a lot to the client, especially if it looks like the person they are remembering.”

Ramirez Jr. won first place honors at the Colorado Tattoo Convention. It took place in Denver on Sept. 30-Oct 2.

“I had been going for the past five or six years and finally I took first place with a tattoo of my nephew that I did on my wife,” he said. “It’s special because he passed away.”

The portrait of his nephew that Ramirez, Jr. created that won first place at the 2022 Colorado Tattoo Convention in Denver. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)
Ramirez Jr.’s portrait of his nephew won first prize at the 2022 Colorado Tattoo Convention. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)

Ramirez Jr. has been tattooing since the age of 12 years. He started by practicing with family and friends using an old school machine that was built from scratch with guitar strings.

“Finally when I was around 24, I got out of that stubborn stage and learned professionally and got the right equipment — needles, machines, inks — all legit,” Ramirez, Jr. explained. “And I started making it my career; I kept pursuing it and getting good.”

Ramirez Jr. offers his mentorship to other tattoo artists and allows them to become apprentices. He currently teaches two artists in different styles of tattoos, such as American Traditional and Neo-Traditional.

“That’s what I want in my shop. If you are going to tattoo somebody with art, make sure you’re an artist,” Ramirez, Jr. said.

The shop places a high value on cleanliness and client health.

“We order all disposable needles, so that’s even better for us. Everything is brand new from step to step,” Ramirez, Jr. said. “Back in the day, they would use that same needle and just put it into a sterilizer.”

Husband and wife team, Elias Ramirez Jr., seated, and Monique Ramirez, standing, co-own Just My Imagination Tattoo LLC in Garden City. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)
Elias Ramirez Jr. (seated) and Monique Ramirez (standing), are the husband and wife teams that co-own Just My Imagination Tattoo LLC. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)

Just My Imagination also offers piercing services such as earlobes and eyebrows, septum, and more. Prices for piercing vary depending on the area being pierced.

The shop is located in Garden City at 2760 8th Ave. Unit 4. It is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Walk-ins are always welcome. However, appointments can be made online or by calling (970). 702-2238.

“So many people are wanting tattoos now— it doesn’t matter if they are doctors, lawyers, whoever. I tattooed my pastor,” Ramirez, Jr. said. “It’s kind of mind boggling the acceptance of it.”

For more information on Just My Imagination Tattoo LLC, go to www.justmyimaginationtattoostudio.com.

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